This Czech recipe for fried cheese or smažený sýr is a popular street food and so easy to make. In Slovakia, it is known as vyprážaný syr.
It can be eaten as an appetizer with mayonnaise or tartar sauce for dipping or a vegetarian main course, especially when tucked into a bun, and accompanied by mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Traditionally, Edam, Hermelin or Niva cheese is used in the Czech Republic and Emmentaler in Slovakia. But Gouda or Swiss cheese also work well.
- 1/2 lb. cheese (4 1-inch thick slices, Edam, Gouda or Swiss)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup oil (or shortening, for frying)
- Sprinkle cheese with salt, if desired. Dredge slices in flour, then in beaten egg, and finally in bread crumbs, making sure the cheese slices are completely covered.
- Pan fry quickly in hot oil or shortening until golden brown. Serve immediately.
- Heat the oven to 425 F. Freeze cheese slices for 15 minutes. Bread them as in the recipe above but, instead of frying, place the pieces in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
- Lightly coat the breaded cheese with cooking spray. Bake 5 to 8 minutes, carefully flip over and bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
History of Fried Cheese
The popularity of fried cheese isn't a new fad. It goes way back. One of the first documented instances of its appearance dates to Medieval France when a recipe for it appeared in Le Ménagier de Paris, a guidebook for the housewife.
Fried cheese exists in nearly all cuisines but, as you might expect, the cheese changes with each country. In Hispanic cultures, it is known as queso frito, the Swiss call it malakoff, and the Greeks have their saganaki.
Mozzarella has become a popular candidate for fried cheese because it has a mild flavor and melts well producing that ooey-gooey goodness people love.
More Fried Cheese Recipes
- Indian Fried Paneer Cheese Recipe: In this recipe from India, cheese cubes or slices are coated with a chickpea flour batter and fried. They can be served with chutney or barbecue sauce.
- Fried Cheese Balls with Guava Sauce Recipe: In this Latin recipe, shredded Gouda or Edam cheese is mixed with egg white and flour and formed into balls that are fried and served with a guava dipping sauce.
- Fried Goat Cheese Croutons Recipe: This unusual salad topper is made by breading and frying cubes of goat cheese.
- Fried Halloumi Cheese Recipe: In this recipe, halloumi cheese from Cyprus is brushed with a little olive oil and fried without any breading. Halloumi will soften but it retains its shape and doesn't melt. It's great with fresh oregano or mint and served with sliced tomatoes.